Sunday, August 4, 2013

Yes, They Are All Mine...

...and I'm so glad they are.

So, this blog has been neglected, but you wouldn't know it since I have it as a private blog (and never got around to inviting anyone). I'm pretty sure I'm ready to change that though. If you're reading this you'll know I've made that leap. I started contemplating making this public after an appointment I recently had.

We'd just returned from an amazing mini vacation. It was really needed. My husband, Daniel, had been extremely busy working on and finally defending his dissertation. While he was crossing all his t's and dotting his i's, we had to sacrifice some of the little time we had with him. To celebrate his success, and to have some much needed daddy time, we decided to use the free passes Busch Gardens gives to military families (thank you by the way) and we went to Sesame Place in Pennsylvania. We then drove through Lancaster County so that Daniel and the kids could experience real Dutch cooking and Amish goods. Anyhow, despite leaving the house nice and clean, after such a fun weekend, the to-do list for Monday was pretty long. I was busy sorting all the laundry when I realized I had an appointment, and if I was going to make it I had to get going.

There was no time to find a babysitter. So, I got all four kids dressed and packed a lunch to eat in the waiting room. Daniel, was able to take a quick lunch break, meet me at the clinic, and supervise the kids in the waiting room while I went with the doctor.

When I was called back the doctor held the door open for me. I turned to wait for her to take the lead and guide me to a room, when I saw she was peeking in on my kiddos who were all quietly munching PB&J's. She seemed quite shocked when she asked, "Is that your family?" I get that question quite a bit so, I laughed and answered, "Yes."

As we began entering the room, she gave me the same face I'd seen in the hall, only I realized she hadn't just been shocked. She sounded a bit perturbed as she asked, "Three kids?" with raised eyebrows.

I've been in similar situations, and I always try to give people a benefit of the doubt when I feel I'm being wrongly judged. I also try not to apologize for having more than two kids, so I smiled and said, "No. Actually, four."

After another look of disgust, I thought the subject would be dropped. However, she asked more about my pregnancies and I think it was too much for her to remain completely professional and not add her two-cents. After several more eye rolls, and raised eyebrows, I told her I had four healthy and normal pregnancies. She continued to ask about my history and whether I was breast feeding etc. she also learned my husband's education and even his occupation. After a ten minute interview she had enough information to dispel any concerns she may have had about domestic violence, child abuse, or that we weren't on welfare. I'd assumed her passive-aggressive facial expressions and somewhat chiding tone were all I'd have to deal with concerning my choice to be a mom of four, but I was mistaken.

She asked (I'm assuming for medical purposes), "Do you plan on having any more children?" When I answered, "Perhaps. I'm not sure right now," she seemed to not be able to help herself. I got another disappointed and disgusted look as she shook her said, "That's a lot of babies." I stood my ground and replied. "Sure, it might be, but I'm not sure if we'll have more. We'll see." I was disappointed when she couldn't leave it at that and replied once more in her growing scolding tone, "Well, that's a lot of babies," and she shook her head and began typing away. She seemed to thoroughly want to chastise me, or give me a good verbal spanking. I was miffed.

I'll bet you are wondering what see saw when she peered into the waiting room. It looked like this when I left:
 And like this:

  Well, if I'm to be honest my kids didn't quite look like these drawings since they were zoned out watching TV; However, they were sitting and eating quietly. I think the Dr. envisioned something more along the lines of this:

Okay, that's a bit dramatic. Likely, it was something more like this:

No matter what it was that she found so wrong, it was pretty clear she'd found my problem:

I think women encounter experiences like this quite a bit. You know, instances where our life choices are questioned. There are many hot topics. For example, what women choose to do for a profession, whether we decide to have children, whether or not we stay at home with kids, and how we raise our kids. I've come to find out over and over again, what is right for me isn't right for other people, and I'm okay with that. I also understand everyone won't agree with my life decisions, and I'm okay with that as long as I'm not treated like I'm a bad person, ignorant, or somehow less-than-human. I believe those who disagree with my choice to have four kids (or whatever else) in a negative way often misunderstand where I'm coming from. I also believe that if I had the chance to share why I've made the choice to be a stay-at-home mother of four many of these people would likely find they could respect my decisions even if they adamantly disagreed with them.

Some of the worries people seem to have concerning people who have more than two kids:

1.  Finances

2. Government aid

3. Overpopulation

4. That I'm being supressed

and when they find out I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (in other words...I'm a Mormon) it's sometimes assumed...

5. I've been brainwashed to believe I have to have lots of kids, and I've been brainwashed in many other ways. I even read a comment that a non-Mormon wrote on the matter where they said we believed in order to make it to the highest glory of heaven we HAD to have at least five kids! In case you can't read my shock, that's totally false.

I'll try to address some of these concerns to explain how our choices to have more than two kids works--and it works well for us.

Have you heard of other concerns about large families?

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